RACE 19

Race Distance: 200kms

Laps: 52

Compulsory Pit Stops: One – must change at least two tyres and/or add fuel

Tyre Allocation: Soft tyre compound only

Weather: Dry, sunny, and 18 degrees

HRT Race Highlights:

  • In today’s 20 minute qualifying session Courtney’s second last run looked promising, but the lap time was not recorded due to kerbed hopping.  He qualified in 12th and his team mate Tander was one place behind in 13th.
  • With the grid set and ready, the tension became too much for some and a number of cars moved off the grid before the lights went green.  So the start was aborted and drivers were instructed to complete a second formation lap.
  • The second attempt at a start went smoothly. The HRT duo both jumped up two places off the line and were side-by-side through the first three turns.
  • On lap five Courtney and Tander had R Kelly one place ahead and they were both looking for an opportunity to pass, but Kelly wasn’t giving an inch.  For now Courtney and Tander had to be content with 10th and 11th consecutively.
  • On lap 10 Tander was called in for his first stop and took on tyres and fuel.  It wasn’t until lap 14 that Courtney was radioed for his first stop.
  • After the first round of stops were completed by all, Tander had made up substantial ground and was sitting in 4th while Courtney was positioned in 14th.
  • Tander was being hunted by McLaughlin and Mostert, but with his elbows out he wasn’t going to make their job easy.  Mostert passed McLaughlin and had Tander next on his hit list, and on the final corner of the lap 19, made the pass.
  • Mostert’s celebration, however, was short lived as Tander took back track position down the straight.  The roles of hunter and prey changed over and over throughout the next lap until Mostert, who was on the newer tyre, finally pulled ahead.
  • Four laps later Tander conceded to Moffat who surged from behind to overtake both his own team mate (McLaughlin) and Tander.
  • On lap 29 Tander was 8th and Courtney 11th as the field began the second round of stops.  For Tander this came on lap 30 and for Courtney lap 34.
  • As Courtney re-joined the race he was immediately battling against Pye and Caruso for position, but having the assistance of fresher tyres it wasn’t long before he gained the advantage over both.
  • With 15 laps remaining Tander was 8th and Courtney 11th.  In similar circumstances to yesterday it was now down to who could managed their tyres best to the end.
  • On lap 40 Courtney’s newer rubber came into play once again as he passed both Kelly brothers and moved up to 9th, now just one place and five seconds behind Tander.
  • A late Pit Lane Penalty for car #34 benefited the Holden Racing Team drivers and each moved up one place.
  • The race was shortened by one lap due to the aborted start and once the 51 laps had counted down Tander was 7th and Courtney 8th.
  • The next Virgin Australia Supercars Championship race at Sandown 16-18 September, will kick off the PIRTEK Endurance Cup.

Garth Tander, #2 Holden VF Commodore:

“I was a bit frustrated with qualifying because I think we actually had a car good enough to be around 6th – 8th but we got the timing of our runs wrong.  We’ll live and learn from that one.  We were 4th after the first run and we should have gone again straight away.”

“In the race we had an aggressive strategy and pitted early which made the middle stint hard work.  But it got us a lot of track position and to go from 13th to 7th, well I’m reasonably happy with that.  Our tyre life looks pretty good relative to the opposition and we have a couple of things to tune up on the car.  We have a test day coming up in a week and we’ll get to understand the new car a bit more.  Overall really, really happy with the debut for the car.”

James Courtney, #22 Holden VF Commodore:

“Today obviously didn’t go as well as Saturday did, qualifying hurt us and then I don’t think the strategy was ideal because we lost too much time through the mid-part of the race.  Overall I think the car speed was better than where we finished today.”

“We had to pass a lot of cars every time we came out of the pits which cost us time.  Having said that, we had two straight cars both inside the 10 and finished one behind each other, but of course we would like to be further up the front.”